Just a reminder of the 86th Anniversary of the death of Rudolph Valentino.
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Monday, 20 August 2012
The lovely Ian has done a piece for me on the brilliant, but unknown comedienne Marjorie Beebe. Hopefully he will be doing some more articles for me in the future and I encourage you to check out some of Miss Beebe's movies and shorts available on Youtube, I will put a few links at the end.
MARJORIE BEEBE was a rollicking slapstick comedienne, as expert at executing a pratfall as she was at delivering a wisecrack. Her all too short film career can be divided into three sections. There was the period at Fox in the late 1920s, followed by her involvement with Mack Sennett and his new two reel talkie shorts in the early 1930s, and then finally her return to features, an unsatisfactory ragbag of late 1930s support roles before she retired permanently from the movies. It is her career with Mack Sennett, which immediately followed her big Fox triumph with The Farmer’s Daughter (Arthur Rosson 1928), which is sadly lost, a career which includes a few shorts for other studios when he leased out her services, that fits so happily into the Precode timespan of this site. Under the umbrella of slapstick comedy the roguish Beebe perpetrated all manner of mischief.
|Beebe as the Cowcatcher's Daughter laughing as her father tries to scold her|
|Miss Bebe as Hot News Margie getting an eyeful of nude male flesh in a football locker room|
|Ms Beebe as Dance Hall Marge drives a car underwater after a frenetic chase scene|
Youtube Links...Instead of adding videos to this article, I will link to the Youtube site:
- Comedy short - 'Ghost Parade' (1931)
- Another Sennett short - 'Doubling the Quickies' (1932)
- 'Hot News Margie' (1931)
- Lastly, a funny scene from 'Cowcatcher's Daughter' 1931
Saturday, 18 August 2012
Jean's Top Tips:
- Use a fine tipped eyebrow pencil to create a high arched and narrow eyebrow. This style 'enlarges the eye and gives clarity'.
- 'Jean uses a true red cream rouge for her lips, blending the line perfectly and carrying the color well inside to prevent a break in tone.'
- 'Skin-tone powder is then puffed lightly, but thoroughly over Jean's face and neck, with special attension to the nostrels, eye corners and chin.'
- 'Jean's patnium hair has probably aroused more comment and curiousity than any one feature of any star. Naturally blonde, Jean encourages whiteness by weekly shampoos with white soap and a final rinse containing a few drops of French bluing. She brushes for softness, sets her wave with water and vinegar.'
- Finally, 'she depends upon good health, fresh air, excercise, cream, soap and water followed by an ice water rince for her perfect skin.'
|Those strange invisible bubbles|
Eventually he passes out and she chooses to change back into her uniform. She is topless, two men burst in. They think she and Jack have slept together and she is discharged from the army.
|The famous shot of Clara, almost topless|
The film is even better when you look at it historically. The director, mostly known for dramatic realistic Precodes, William Wellman, uses brilliant camera angles and is amazing at creating believable fight scenes, mostly in the air, with the minimal technology available in the late 20’s. It is also interesting to watch this talent as this skill was lost only a few years later in Precodes due to the necessity of fitting in with the microphones and sound directors. I especially loved the use of suggestion, such as, the shadow to symbolise a plane which is just a powerful as the real thing. For more information on the production, I inserted a video from the documentary ‘Moguls and Movie-stars’ talking about it both from a historical perspective and from the viewpoint of directing newcomer Wellman.
|Gary Cooper on the right of Charles and Richard|
Monday, 13 August 2012
Tony: I never made a sound
Vicki: Didn’t he make a grunting noise
Anita: Maybe it was something he ate
Vicki: Yes, darling would you like some bicarbonate of soda
Tony: Vicki this flow of humour I just a little ore then I can bare
Vicki, mockingly: Oh, don’t be irritable precious
You cant tell me they dont look cute together
Blink and you will miss it....
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
I was looking through the line-up of TCM's: Summer Under the Stars praying for the day that I can afford to get pay-tv (or as you Americans call it cable) as it is really expensive in Australia. And lo and behold, my favourite Precode actor and coincidentally my 'Actor of the Month', Warren William has a special day allocated to him. It it not until the 30th but I am just giving all those Warren fans and those who are new to him, a heads up on the line-up for the day. TCM certainly pack a lot of Warren in one day, here is the list:
6:00am – Bedside (1934)
4:00am – Arsene Lupin Returns (1938)
This is one great day of movies and I need to bribe an Austar user to let me stay at their home and take command of their television for a day. There are some great movies on this list, some of which I will be reviewing over the coming month, but here is a list of my top 5 recommendations:
1) As it is probably my favourite Precode film ever - Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) is my top pick. With a great cast, cute plot and catchy songs its an absolute must-watch.
2) Taking a total change from Warren's almost comedic role in Gold-Diggers, he plays a ruthless department store boss in 'Employees Entrance' (1933). Note: the great performances of Precode lovelies Alice White and Loretta Young.
3) I have been dying to see, 'Mind Reader' (1933) with Warren as a cunning con-man playing a clairvoyant. I have read some great reviews of it and the stills look amazing.
4) Another film cementing Warren as a negative, unscrupulous character, 'Match King' (1932) looks like an entertaining film. With assists by the beautiful Lilli Daminta, Glenda Farrell and Claire Dodd how could you go wrong.
5) The final recommendation was between 'Cleopatra' (1934) and 'Lady for a Day' (1933). They are both great films, if you have time to watch both go for it, but 'Lady for a Day' has to triumph as one of the early Frank Capra films and a nominee for Best Picture.
I am soo excited that an actor, who is often forgotten, is being recognised amongst some of the greatest performers of film history. For more information, TCM has got a great website promoting Summer Under the Stars with a fabulous Warren William page. To access it, click here.
Blink and you will miss it...
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Blink and you will miss it...
Brother Can You Spare a Dime - Movie Musicals and American Turmoil
Where would we be without music? It creates national
pride, brings people together and just makes us feel better. Therefore, it’s
not strange that filmmakers have used this medium for decades to shape the
entertainment which is the movies.
Where would we be without music? It creates national pride, brings people together and just makes us feel better. Therefore, it’s not strange that filmmakers have used this medium for decades to shape the entertainment which is the movies.
Friday, 3 August 2012
But, what most people don't know is that Myrna, like Joan Crawford, was a master chameleon. I'm not sure whether it was brains or pure chance but she seemed to exemplify the needs and desires of the American woman in every decade she was in Hollywood. To celebrate her 105th birthday on the 2nd of August, I have done a little photo montage of her every-changing roles and appearance in the Precode era. It is amazing to see how one woman could go from vamp to housewife in just five years.
The Exotic Vamp
The Black Watch (1929)
The Desert Song (1929)
Manipulative Oriental Witches
Thirteen Women (1932)
Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Manipulative Society Women
Animal Kingdom (1932)
The Perfect Wife
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
'The Thin Man' (1934)
Vamp to a Wife in just five years.....
Blink and you will miss it....